Young Writers’ Contest

For the past four years the Academy has sponsored a Young Writers contest, open to Columbia and Berkshire County students in grades 9 through 12, with the goal of encouraging and rewarding creative writing by young people in our area. Categories for submissions include Fiction and Essay/Memoir sections.

This competition, rewarded with cash prizes, enhances the authors’ program of the Festival of Books – first prize winners have an opportunity to read from their works in a special session in the author’s presentation tent during our annual literary event.

For 2019 the Young Writers’ Contest is on hiatus, but will return in 2020. To learn more about the contest, see information about the 2018 contest below.

Congratulations to the 2018 Young Writers’ Contest Winners

Congratulations to the six winners, and thank you to every student who entered, making it a great competition! We’d also like to thank our judges: Wesley Brown, Jamie Cat Callan, Alan Gelb, David Highfill, Daphne Kalotay, and Wendy Schmalz.

This year two schools swept the awards: Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, MA, and Hudson High School in Hudson, NY. Following are the list of all winners. Read the First Prize Essay by Claudia Maurino and the First Prize Short Story by Noah Goble, both of Monument Mountain High School.

2018 Winners


First Prize: Claudia Maurino, Monument Mountain, Loss
Second Prize: Shimran Alam, Hudson High School, Dream
Third Prize: Tahrima Siha, Hudson High School, Untitled

Fiction/Short Story

First Prize: Noah Goble, Monument Mountain, Dreamer
Second Prize: Piper Nayowith, Hudson High School, The Town
Third Prize: Eva Letteron, Monument Mountain, Young Girl Eating a Bird

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